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Deep Wild D could mean fewer minutes for Suter

Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild - Game Three

Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild - Game Three

NHLI via Getty Images

Even Ryan Suter’s critics must wonder: do his stats dip because of his resounding workload?

The 2015-16 season may provide that answer, at least based on the beginning of Minnesota Wild training camp.

Head coach Mike Yeo plans on playing Suter about 24-26 minutes per game, which is a significant drop from his run of playing almost half of every contest, as the Pioneer Press’ Chad Graff notes.

A few days ago, Yeo gave Suter the vote of confidence in a Q & A with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, although his praise also gives the impression there’s room for improvement.

“He had statistically maybe not his best year, but he did a lot of really good things,” Yeo said. “Second half of the year we were the best team in the league, and he was our leader on the back end. I don’t think he deserves to beat himself up, especially given the circumstances of the passing of his father and the mumps. He’s motivated, he’s excited to have a good year.”

There’s no response from Suter just yet, but if he feels the same way as fellow workhorse Drew Doughty, then he’s eating hockey Brussels Sprouts on Friday:

This is less about Suter being put in timeout and more about other defensemen joining “the grown-up table.” Just ponder Minnesota’s impressive depth:

Mathew Dumba said he “isn’t taking anything for granted,” and with good reason. Despite receiving plenty of offers, Mike Reilly isn’t necessarily guaranteed a spot on the team heading into next season.

Suter probably wants to be on the ice as much as possible, yet this situation bodes well for the Wild overall. Perhaps we’ll even see the end of (some) “overrated” debates in the process?